What Is A Firewall

What is a firewall?

You are probably tired of googling around to get a definite yet simple answer about what is a firewall?

Well, Ill do my best to tell you what exactly it is and why bother yourself with one, in the simplest possible words (yes its possible!)

Think of firewall as the security standing outside your gate(s). They inspect everyone that comes in and out (unless they’re snoring away to glory), stop unauthorized people from entering a building, maintain a record of all entry and exits and so on.

A firewall is not so different (except for the sleeping part ofcourse).
It keeps a check of all incoming and outgoing connections of your computer network (usually LANs) and based on the rules configured on the firewall, it will allow/deny access to certain computers, or technically speaking IP addresses.


A few other things it does is it maintains  a log of all incoming and outgoing connections along with the date and time stamp, shows what connections were blocked and why, and ofcourse the best part, prevents unknown people from getting into your network from the internet (hackers, vandals, script kiddies!).

But make no mistake. A firewall is the LEAST you can do to secure your network – that’s right. A firewall is the most basic thing to have in place when it comes to securing your computer or an entire network.

Since you have understood what is a firewall, lets move on to understand the types of firewalls:

1) Hardware based firewalls

These are physical machines with network ports. Commonly installed at the entry point of your network.  These are used to protect an entire network from internet threats and are generally used  at offices.

A hardware based firewall looks like this :

What is a firewall

Depending upon your requirements, they are available in various models

2) Software based firewalls

These are commonly associated  with antivirus software. You can download it on your Windows computer and install it yourself.  These are used to protect a single computer from internet threats. Generally used for personal use. Most popular are Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky and my personal favourite – Comodo Firewall.

How does a firewall work? 

You’ve just read the article on what is a firewall. If you want to dig deeper and find out how does a firewall work?
Read the next article on How does a firewall work?

If you have any questions regarding this post, feel free to post comments in the section below and I’ll do my best to answer them

Tags: , ,